Cover We round up the best spots in town to watch live music (Photo: Ned Kelly's Last Stand)

Unwind with a drink and live tunes at the best live music spots in Hong Kong

Is there anything better than experiencing music in person? While the pandemic put a pause on most live music shows and concerts in town, there are still plenty of live music venues in the city operating as bars or restaurants.

If you’re in need of some good music after a day of work or to unwind during the weekend, it’s time to visit the best live music spots in town.

From rap at Sound Department to smooth jazz and cocktails at Foxglove, or even vintage vinyl sessions at Potato Head, put on your best evening dress and get ready for a night of live tunes. 

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1. Fringe Club

The Fringe Club has been a vibrant contemporary art hub for artists for more than 30 years. An open space for exhibitions, stand-up comedy and live music, this is a space for both emerging and professional artists in the city.

You’ll also notice the venue’s interesting architecture, which won the government’s first-ever Hong Kong Heritage Award and was declared a Grade I-listed heritage building in 2009. When you listen to live music here, you’ll definitely feel the heart and history of the site.

Fringe Club, 2 Lower Albert Road, Central, Hong Kong; +852 2521 7251; hkfringeclub.com

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2. Darkside

Rosewood’s live jazz bar Darkside brings you sultry live jazz, delicious cocktails and even their very own signature cigar. Their resident jazz singer Deborah Davis will captivate you throughout the night with her dazzling New York charm and musical vocals.

Darkside, Rosewood Hong Kong Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong; +852 3891 8732; rosewoodhotels.com

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3. The Aftermath

Spearheaded by local events company All That Junk, The Aftermath showcases live music, stand-up comedy paired with local and international craft beer on draught.

Founders Alicia Beale and Kyle Haynes opened the space for aspiring musicians to meet and perform and that’s exactly what they’re doing. The team has organised performances with countless indie bands in the past, such as The David Bowie Knives, Qi and Esimorp.

The Aftermath, L/G, 57–59 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong; facebook.com/TheAftermathBar

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4. Foxglove

An embodiment of the character Frank Minza, an adventurer who loves indulging in rare spirits, Foxglove transports you to a world of aviation and travelling in its luxe space.

Playing jazzy tunes every week, this swish bar and restaurant regularly host live music events at night, giving you the best music to enjoy as you’re sipping on a selection of aged cognac and spirits. 

Foxglove, 2/F Printing House, 6 Duddell Street, Central, Hong Kong; +852 2116 8949; foxglovehk.com/home

5. The Music Room at Potato Head

While there are usually no live vocals at Potato Head’s Music Room, this Balinese restaurant is known for its fantastic sound system and extensive selection of records. With equipment imported all the way from the US, UK and Japan, the sound is the centre of this space, guaranteeing a good, laid-back music session every time you visit. 

The restaurant’s resident DJ, Johnny Hiller, takes charge of the vinyl at night, playing a broad selection of music that you’ll want to melt into. 

Potato Head, 100 Third Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong; +852 2858 6066; potatohead.co

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6. Sound Department

This club in Central is for the wild crowd that loves music. Sound Department brings people together through champagne and music. They’ve hosted gigs with indie musicians and local rappers to connect club culture to the wider world as a local nightlife entertainment pioneer. This is where you can enjoy the energy of nightlife culture.

Sound Department, Lower G/F, Malahon Centre, 8-12 Stanley Street, Central, Hong Kong; +852 3560 0433; facebook.com/sound.dept.hk

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7. Peel Fresco

Since opening in 2007, Peel Fresco has become one of the prime live music spots in Hong Kong. The venue is frequented by artists from the Hong Kong jazz scene, up-and-coming local talents and international musicians. They also host different bands every day with an open jam jazz session every Sunday. 

Peel Fresco, 49 Peel Street, Central, Hong Kong; +852  25402046; peel-fresco.com

8. Mudita

True to its name that means “the pleasure that comes from delighting in other’s well-being”, Mudita welcomes guests to come and relax, unwind and enjoy live music and great cocktails. Opened in 2018, the club hosts chart-toppers as much as aspiring musicians. You can jam to DJs spinning vinyl, a little funk and soul or jazz.

Mudita, G/F, 24–30 Ice House Street, Central, Hong Kong; +852 2810 9902; facebook.com/mudita.hkg

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9. Champagne Bar

Located at the lobby of Grand Hyatt hotel, The Champagne Bar serves up the best bubbles and live jazz music in Hong Kong. Choose from a selection of Grand Marques and other smaller champagnes, and get ready to soak in resident singer Maricel Bandana’s silky, smooth voice. Live shows play daily from 9 pm 'til late. 

Champagne Bar, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, 1 Harbour Road, Hong Kong; +852 2584 7722; hongkong.grand.hyattrestaurants.com

10. Terrible Baby

Don’t let the name of this bar fool you. It’s translated from the French phrase, “Enfant terrible”, which is actually often used in the creative field to refer to a young, successful genius who is unconventional and striking.

Located in the bustling neighbourhood of Jordan, Terrible Baby is all about three things: cocktails, the outdoors and live music. Grab a drink of their impressive selection of cocktails while listening to some live music. If you're looking to unwind, head over to the terrace with a glass at hand.

Terrible Baby, 4/F, Eaton HK, 380 Nathan Road, Jordan, Kowloon, Hong Kong; +852 2710 1866; terriblebaby.com

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11. The Iron Fairies

The Iron Fairies is where a whimsical experience, bewitching night music, exceptional mixology and much-needed comfort food gather. You’ll surely feel enhanced by its interiors with 10,000 butterflies on thin copper rods swinging from the ceiling.

Pair this with casual bites of burgers and chicken wings and top it off with craft beers and cocktails to satisfy your palette. Completing the experience is the live music ranging from pop and blues to Caribbean grooves to reggae.

The Iron Fairies, LG, 1 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong; +852 2603 6992; diningconcepts.com/restaurants/iron-fairies

12. Nathan Left

Nathan is a lot of things: live music venue, play club, chill bar, workshop and events space and a wine and dine spot. This hip place by M1 Group surely has everything you need for a relaxing night, from cool drinks to scrumptious food to enjoyable live music.

Nathan Left, G/F and 1/F, 5–9 Hart Avenue, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, facebook.com/nathanleftbym1

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13. Madame Fu

Instagrammable restaurant, Madame Fu is also the place to be for live music. End your week well with mellow Jazz vibes on Thursday or Friday evening with the VoSSa Duo, a saxophonist and acoustic guitar. Or you can be on your feet on Saturday night with a DJ.

Madame Fu Grand Cafe Chinois, 3/F, Barrack Block, Tai Kwun, No. 10 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong, madamefu.com.hk

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14. Ned Kelly’s Last Stand

Ned Kelly’s Last Stand is one of the long-standing bars in Hong Kong, with its house band well-loved by the crowds so much so that it has an official Facebook fan page. This watering hole in Tsim Sha Tsui also serves as a “rite of passage” if you’re looking to see Hong Kong live music scene. Visitors can expect a lot of jazz and blues, on top entertainment skits and of course, great drinks to cheers to.

Ned Kelly’s Last Stand, 11A Ashley Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong

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This article was published on October 16, 2020 and was updated on December 9, 2021.

 

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